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Stay at Home Solutions blogs on topics such as aging in place, universal design, adaptive equipment, home modifications, accessibility, durable medical equipment, legislation, and caregiving.

Hey, You Might Have Visitability Disorder!

Do you have a couple of family members who cannot visit your house because it’s hard for them to climb stairs?

Do you accidentally strain yourself at home while carrying things through narrow doorways and stairs?

Have you or a family member broken a bone and were forced to completely change where you sleep, bathe, and toilet in the house?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you suffer from “Visitability Disorder”. (Gasp!)

Goodness! What is that?

It is the inability for people of all ages and abilities to visit your home. It is a terrible affliction that affects more than 90% of current housing in the U.S.  (Journal of the American Planning Association).

I will confess to you all today that I too have “Visitability Disorder”. (Sobs into a handkerchief.) I feel your pain.

However, I have great news! There is a cure for “Visitability Disorder”! Visitability.org outlines what builders can do with new construction using three very important and INEXPENSIVE tactics:

 Innovate Building Solutions

Innovate Building Solutions

1) Make one entry into the house a zero-step entrance. It can be the front door, side door, back door, from the garage, secret entryway, etc. Just choose one entry with no steps whatsoever! Bonus tip: you can add a zero-step entrance whether your house has a basement or not!

 

 Pexel

Pexel

2) Build all doorways and hallways 32 inches wide or greater. This will eliminate the funny bone pain you get after slamming your elbow into the door frame while carrying groceries or a baby carrier inside the house.

 

 Functional Home Living

Functional Home Living

3) Construct a half bathroom, preferably a full bathroom, on the main level of your house. Family and friends won’t have to trudge up the stairs to use the bathroom or shower.

Please please look at the other tabs and links on Visitability.org! It also provides stats, costs, resources, handouts, and real world applications. How cool is that?

 

Next, you may say to me, “Maria, I am not planning on building a new house. What can I do?” Unfortunately, the costs of retrofitting a house with these features is more expensive than new construction. That is the reality. BUT the benefits of having a bathroom on the main level, zero-step entry, and 32 inch wide or greater hallways and doorways are long-lasting for everyone!

If you are planning on remodeling parts of your house in the future, ask your contractor to widen the doorways and hallways 32-36 inches.

Add more space to a half bathroom by allowing at least five feet of turning radius to move around easier.

Create a gentle sloped sidewalk from the driveway to the front or side entry for a zero-step entry.

For more great ideas specific to you, call me! I’ve got your solution!